Andrew Ardill <andrew.ard...@gmail.com> writes:
As a data point, I have seen people add ".gitignore" to their
.gitignore file, as they don't want to share the file.
Right, I've seen that too. It confused the heck out of me. It only lends
credence to my point about the docs. Those users want the functionality
of a pattern in '$GIT_DIR/info/exclude', but haven't been able to figure
it out easily enough. They've just heard about .gitignore, so they're
using that. Yes, it's all there in the docs if you read it several
times, and you already know what you're looking at, but not in a
terribly accessible, best practices, "advice from a smart friend who's
been through it all already" kind of way.
... The introduction does specifically mention 'gitignore'
files, but that seems to be due to all the ignore files
($HOME/.config/git/ignore, $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, .gitignore) being
classified as 'gitignore' files.
Yes, the 'gitignore' versus '.gitignore' distinction is hopelessly
subtle. It is very easy for a newcomer to think these are exactly the
same thing. I certainly did.
Finally, it's a little confusing that one of the files is called
It would be great to rename it to 'ignore'; $GIT_DIR/info/exclude ->
$GIT_DIR/info/ignore. Is there any reason this shouldn't be done?
Well, yes: semantics. Since they do slightly different things, they
should have different names. It makes reference and teaching much
easier. In fact, if a renaming were to occur, I would actually prefer
even better semantics:
.gitignore -> .shared-ignore
$GIT_DIR/info/exclude -> $GIT_DIR/info/local-ignore
These suggested names could perhaps be improved on. But if anything, the
names need to be more different, not less. Users should be able to
instantly know what a speaker is talking about without having to
doublecheck and ask if by "git-ignore", the speaker really meant "git
ignore" or "dot-gitignore".
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